A few days after Thanksgiving I found myself thinking all of these leftovers, what is a girl to do?
Roasted butternut squash and zesty carrots. Soup and ravioli, that is what I’ll do.
So, that is what I made. Soup and ravioli. As it turns out though, I made some pretty good memories too.
Nathan, my 5-year-old, has a sixth sense for when I’m about to do something big in the kitchen and he always wants to be a part of it. My older two like to cook with me as well but have other things going on a lot of the time now that they are “big”. Nathan, however, always has the time to be with mommy in the kitchen and when he saw the mixer and the pasta maker come out, he was on his stool ready to go.
Pasta dough, what could be simpler. Flour. Eggs. Salt. Olive Oil. And in Arizona, water – it’s dry here, everything needs water.
Rested and ready to go.
A little kneading. “It’s like play dough, mommy!” A little bit, but it tastes way better!
A little rolling, flattening and stretching. When my husband first saw these pictures, he pointed out that Nathan’s fingernails were dirty and look kind of gross. So, I am including the following fingernail disclaimer: Nathan’s fingernails are dirty and gross, a lot. He’s five. He plays in the dirt, a lot. He did wash his hands before helping, even though it doesn’t look like it. None of his pasta dough actually made it to final production as it hit the floor at least three times in the kneading process. It is safe to eat at my house. There, now the legal department should be happy.
Kneading, smooshing, pounding, smashing and pulverizing are great but this? This is five-year-old kitchen gadget bliss! I should have edited out the garbage can. Sorry. Where was the legal department on this?
He has made pasta. He has worked pasta into submission. He has conquered pasta. He is so proud. So is his mom. She must be if she is willing to post a picture that clearly shows what a disaster making pasta has made of her kitchen.
Wow! He’s good. Just kidding, that’s mine. Incidentally, it is difficult to roll out past and photograph it at the same time. I need a staff. Correction, I need a staff that is over the age of five.
A little bit about the filling. One of my Thanksgiving side dishes was Zesty Carrots (if you are interested, you can find the recipe here). I had quite a bit left over (my husband would tell you that is because they are awful, they’re not) and decided to get creative. I threw them into the food processor with a little bit of turkey stock (freshly made from the turkey carcass – more on that tomorrow), took them for a little spin and voila’ – ravioli filling. The bread crumb topping acted as the perfect binder and the consistency was great. As this was an experiment and my husband and kids are not zesty carrot fans, I made a ricotta and parmesan filling as well.
Note to self, do not pile uncooked ravioli together on a plate. Raw pasta dough is sticky. Sheet tray. Parchment paper. What was I thinking.
Thankfully, all was not lost, I was able to salvage most of the ravioli and there was the sage brown butter sauce. Things are always better when there is sage fried in butter. And wine. Wine makes things better too. In moderation of course; there’s that legal department again.
The finished product was pretty good. I think I am onto something but it needs a little tweaking. The zesty carrots have a horseradish sauce on them, which is delicious but strong and a little overwhelming for ravioli. Especially when what I really wanted to taste was the brown butter sauce and sage and have the filling be more subtle and secondary. Still, all in all, pretty tasty.
In the interest of full disclosure, this was the cheese ravioli which I served with a jarred four cheese alfredo sauce; evidence that it is always a good idea to have a backup plan.
I almost forgot about the butternut squash soup, although I’m not sure how that is possible as it was delicious. I put my left over roasted squash into a pot with enough turkey stock to warm it and give it a good consistency and then puree’d it with the immersion blender.
Simple but yummy.
Thinking outside the box and experimenting in the kitchen is always fun and rewarding. Spending a Sunday afternoon with your five-year-old making memories is joyous. Dirty fingernails and all. You thought I was going to say priceless, didn’t you? It’s that too.